Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6908 by Phi

Posted by nmsindy on December 5th, 2008


Everything I associate with a Phi puzzle, bullet-proof clues with excellent surface readings , references to classical music and matters astronomical.   As there were 4 15-letter entries around the perimeter, I said I’d start with them and was lucky enough to get two straightaway in the first row and column which gave starting letters of many other words.  So this turned out to be a quick solve for me, 16 mins.

* = anagram  < = reversed


1 INCIDENTAL MUSIC   (In a clinic’s muted)*

9 ALL EG RO  (music)   RO = run out (cricket)

10 Elizabeth G (ASK) EL L   One of the great 19th century writers.

11 1 N N


13 NU (LLI FI) ED   (nude)*  (if ill)<

15 SU NNI   (US)< (INN)<    11 across is inn

16 ENSU(r)E   r = regina (queen)

18 MAST ERFUL     Clever misleading join at ‘Leading support’ with Leading being the definition.  (r fuel)*

r = beginning to reject.   ‘Supply’ in the cryptic reading is a adverb anagram indicator (i.e. in a supple manner)

20 MANTELPIECE  (Meet in place)*

22 (t)RIP

23 (c)UP DRAW N   draw = tie   “cup tie” fitting in well

24 S (1 GN) AGE     This was my last entry   garden’s edges = first and last letters

26 H ((r)UBBLE TELESC) OPE    (select)*


1 ITALIAN VERMOUTH   as in ‘Gin and It’


3 DO G

4 NEO LOG IS M   (one)*    pun on ‘coinage’

5 (j)ARGON   25 is GAS

6 M (I SE EN  S C) EN E     Very elaborate but easy from the definition and enumeration if you knew the phrase


8 CELESTIAL SP HERE   (Last eclipse)*

12 CHINESE WALL   From finance where two sections of the same organisation are kept separate in certain circumstances to avoid conflicts of interest.   And the Great Wall of China, I guess.

14 DI S (PER) SAL    (lass I’d)<   per = a


19 FAR (RAG) O

21 PIN(O)T

25 GAS(h)

6 Responses to “Independent 6908 by Phi”

  1. Testy says:

    My only problem with this one was “leading” as the definition for MASTERFUL. I had only ever thought of it as meaning “accomplished” or “skilled” but I guess it must also mean “acting like a master”/”being domineering”.

  2. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    I think ‘masterful’ may be used to mean ‘lordly’ or ‘skilful’ but ‘masterly’ is used only to mean ‘expert’.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Had a look in Collins – it defines masterful (1) has having or showing mastery, which is itself defined as (2) outstanding skill. expertise and (3) power of command; control. I think ‘leading’ would be pretty close to that.

    It also says (3) masterful = masterly which is defined as ‘of the skill befitting a master’ which is defined as the man in authority so I think it works that way too.

  4. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    1 ITALIAN VERMOUTH as in ‘Gin and It’

    Thanks for the note.

    Recently in some crossword there was this clue “This is it” for which the solution was ITALIAN VERMOUTH.

    Not I understand how!

    As far as drinks are concerned, I am afraid I am barred!

  5. nmsindy says:

    It needs the capital I in It though, which is why Phi put that word first in the clue, I guess. I had seen the idea used before. Had I not, I doubt if I’d have solved that clue straightaway as I did.

  6. C.G. Rishikesh says:


    After I read your note I traced out the clue that I had seen before. It was in Everyman.

    The local paper that reproduces the crossword (after a timelag) makes mistakes regularly and it is possible that it did not capitalise the initial letter of ‘it’ in the clue.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

− one = 2